Sun Prairie plans to make safety changes at dangerous intersection

Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 6:21 PM CDT
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NBC15 Investigates is looking into a

that happened at a busy intersection in Sun Prairie last week.

The victim was 46-year-old Julie Ziegler of Sun Prairie. NBC15 Investigates reached out to her family to find out what Ziegler was like.

"Her favorite thing was church, she loved her job, and she loved all the people that were in her life," Ziegler’s sister Jeniffer Hart said.

Hart said she’s always been proud of Ziegler. The 46-year-old had Down syndrome, and Hart said Ziegler didn’t let that stop her from doing anything.

“She was strong,” Hart said. “She graduated from high school, she was independent.”

Hart is still coping with the loss of her sister. Last week, a car hit and killed Ziegler while she crossed the street outside her apartment.

It happened near the intersection of west Main Street and Clarmar Drive. According to police, Ziegler did not use the crosswalk at the main intersection. Instead, she crossed the street by the driveway of her apartment complex down the block.

"That crosswalk is pretty far away from the driveway of that apartment complex," Hart said.

Ziegler is not the only one to do this.

NBC15 Investigates looked into

on west Main Street from the city of sun prairie in 2018. The report states that people frequently cross from the same spot as Ziegler, where there is no crosswalk, and no signs or lights for pedestrians or cars. The report also recommended changes.

"This was in our plans to put something there, but with this death, we've decided to do it now with money that was left over from other projects," Sun Prairie Public Works Chair Alan Guyant said.

On Tuesday, Guyant and his committee agreed that a traffic signal for pedestrians and cars should go up along west Main Street. However, they're still deciding where it will go.

"We’re going to look at where to put the instrument, mid-block, or do we put it at the intersection where there's also a lot of pedestrian traffic?" Guyant said.

Hart said in order for it to make a difference, the city should build it in the middle of the block.

"I'm sorry that it took my sister getting hit to make the changes, but if that's what happens, then something good will come out of this," Hart said.

The Sun Prairie will vote on the project at its meeting next month.